Feedlot Update - April 2018

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Feedlot Update

March 2018

MPCA posts update of manure management planner

The MPCA's Manure Management Planner spreadsheet is receiving some updates. They were necessary to address issues some users were experiencing with the most recent release of Microsoft's Excel platform as well as implementation of the recent updates to the University of Minnesota nutrient recommendations for corn production. The update is posted on the MPCA feedlot manure land application web page. As always, any data you have created with the previous version of the planner will be compatible with this version. A detailed users guide for the planner is in the final stages of completion and will be available in the coming weeks. The Manure Management Planner is a free tool that all livestock and poultry operations of any size can use to assist with creating a manure management plan for their operation.

Applying manure this spring? Start planning now

manure application

It may be hard to imagine spring coming anytime soon with the recent arctic temperatures and snow, but in a few short months it’ll be time to apply nutrients for the upcoming crops, says Melissa Wilson, U of M Extension manure management specialist. If you plan to apply manure, now is the time to start mapping out your plans for the year to save headaches down the road. Here are some tips to get you started on your plans and for applying manure this spring. Tips for spring manure application.

Manure fertilizer analysis lowers risks of nitrogen variability

One of the big challenges when using manure as a fertilizer source is knowing the amount of plant nutrients that are present and available in the manure. This uncertainty increases the risk of over-applying or under-applying nutrients to the field. The risk is greatest with nitrogen (N), which can easily move out of manure during storage and is a source of drinking water concerns. However, there are ways that producers can lower that risk. One of those ways is by getting manure tested. Read more: https://z.umn.edu/3exr.

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County feedlot officers convene in Stearns County

MACFO Josh Raab

About 75 county feedlot staff and several MPCA staff attended the annual conference of the Minnesota Association of County Feedlot Officers March 27-29 St. Cloud. The event provides training credits for county feedlot staff. Program topics included: Program updates, biosecurity, manure and nutrient management, process waste water, construction stormwater, and legal update.

Presentations from the conference will be prepared for posting on the MACFO webpage. Under the delegated program, 50 counties administer the state's 7020 feedlot rule with the exception of large feedlots requiring state or federal operating permits.

MACFO Redhead Creamery

A local tour included a small cattle feedlot northeast of Avon and Redhead Creamery north of Brooten. Josh Raab has been working with Stearns SWCD under an interim permit to improve his cow-calf feedlot with a concrete stacking slab and pens, and vegetated treatment area (VTA). The hilly terrain brings a natural channel next to the feedlot flowing into a bermed containment area before spreading into the VTA. Photos: Top: L-R: Brian Krippner, Stearns County; Josh Raab; Kevin Carlson, Stearns SWCD. Left: Sampling cheese at Redhead Creamery.

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MDH offers training about public contact with animals

Safer FACES logo

The Zoonotic Diseases Unit at the Minnesota Dept. of Health has developed a training program designed for owners/operators of venues where the public can have contact with animals. The program is called Safer Farm Animal Contact Exhibits (Safer FACEs). Its goal is to help owners/operators understand the potential risks of illness or injury from animals, and the best practices for their venue to keep visitors healthy.

Safer FACEs is important for owners, operators and staff of venues such as county fairs, petting zoos, orchards, pumpkin patches, other agritourism venues, and farms that host the public for field trips/events. You can learn about it from the MDH Safer FACES webpage.

Veterinarians who want a refresher on the issue of zoonotic diseases from animal contact exhibits can take the training and learn about solutions that reduce risk while maintaining the fun of visiting animals.

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Ag-animal science networking event Sept. 25 in Willmar

2018 ag an sci conference logo

Many of the region’s top agriculture and animal science stakeholders will convene Sept. 25 to discuss some of the industry’s most pressing issues at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. The Ag and Animal Science Conference is is an opportunity to share a collective narrative about agriculture and the huge role it plays on the economy from our neighbor’s table to world trade. Industry influencers can rally together to relay a positive message about the future and impact of agriculture to consumers, policy makers, and the next generation of Ag leaders.

The featured keynote speaker, Bruce Vincent, will share his experiences regarding some of the challenges and misconceptions the ag industry faces on an ongoing basis and how he helped the timber industry overcome some of the very same barriers. He will continue with a follow-on session that digs into more of the “how to’s” that will provide some practical take-aways.

Several local ag producers will share their success stories: Meadow Star Dairy, Lettuce Abound, and Aviagen. The day includes lunch and there is no fee to attend. Register here.

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Feedlot program newsbriefs

Addison March is the new county feedlot officer in Morrison County. She takes over from Brett Fellbaum, who has taken another job with the county. Addison interned with the Morrison County feedlot progam last summer. 

Reba Van Beusekom started April 11 as MPCA feedlot inspector/permit writer in the Mankato office. Reba will be assisting Walter in Mankato with permits, inspections, enforcement and county oversight.

MPCA feedlot program engineer Allie Remer has been reassigned from the MPCA St. Paul office to the Brainerd office. Her new phone number is 218-512-0344.

Stearns County Environmental Services is accepting applications for a feedlot program position. It will provide assistance with implementing a well established animal feedlot program and county zoning ordinances by conducting evaluations and inspections of feedlots and processing permits. This position is responsible for determining and evaluating overall compliance of animal feedlots in conjunction with zoning ordinances, state rules, and federal laws. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor's degree or higher in environmental studies, biology, farm management, agronomy, soil science, animal science, or similar field, and two years of related experience. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. April 27. Candidate interviews will be Tuesday, May 8. Details on Stearns County website.

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Feedlot environmental review worksheet public notices

Spring Valley Farms, Grant County

Spring Valley Farms is proposing to build two new swine feedlots and expand an existing site about four miles northeast of Nashua in the northwest corner of Grant County. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting comments on an environmental review of the projects through May 9.

Each of the two new feedlot sites (project sites 1 and 3) will have two total confinement finishing barns (total capacity 4,800 head) with eight-foot deep concrete liquid manure storage areas, an animal mortality holding building, stormwater infiltration ponds, and a water supply well. The expansion project site (project site 2) will receive these same features, except only one 2,400 head capacity barn instead of two. The site already has one 2,400 head capacity total confinement barn.

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA's Environmental Assessment Worksheet webpage. It is also available by calling Beth Tegdesch at 651-757-2100. Written comments may be sent to Kevin Kain by email at kevin.kain@state.mn.us, or by mail to Kevin Kain, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194. General information about EAWs is also available on the MPCA environmental review webpage.

Slater Brothers Livestock, Nobles County

Slater Brothers Livestock proposes to expand its existing 2,400-head swine finishing facility in Larkin Township about six miles northeast of Adrian in Nobles County.  A new barn for 2,400 finishing hogs will expand the operation to maximum capacity of 4,800.

As required by state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on the proposal. The public may submit written comments on the Slater Brothers Livestock EAW until 4:30 p.m., May 16.

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA website at www.pca.state.mn.us/quick-links/environmental-review, or by searching for “Environmental Assessment Worksheet.” It’s also available by calling Steve Sommer at 651-757-2746. Written comments may be sent via e-mail to steve.sommer@state.mn.us, or mailed to him at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194.

Riverview Farms planning new dairy in Grant County

Riverview Farms has prepared an environmental assessment worksheet for a proposed new dairy in Grant County. It would hold 11,000 Jersey dairy cows in Section 6 of North Ottawa Township, northwestern Grant County. The tentative public notice date is May 21.

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Update on exemption for reporting livestock farm air releases

On March 23, 2018, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Omnibus Bill), was signed into law. Title XI of the Omnibus Bill, called the “Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act” or “FARM Act” exempts the reporting of “air emissions from animal waste at a farm” under CERCLA. When the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issues its mandate vacating the 2008 final rule (expected as soon as May 1, 2018), farms will remain exempt from the CERCLA reporting requirements as a result of the Omnibus Bill.

On February 1, 2018, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA’s motion to further stay  issuance of the mandate until May 1, 2018. No reporting is required until the Court issues its order, or mandate, enforcing its decision to eliminate the reporting exemptions for farms on May 1, 2018. The resources below are being updated for accuracy. Additional information is available on the CERCLA and EPCRA reporting requirements for air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste at farms.

Fact sheet: CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farms

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Livestock & Poultry Environmental News

LPE News logo

March newsletter: This month's webinar will focus on some of the farm and manure management needs of smaller farms. Discussion will include: conservation structures and facilities, waste management facilities used on smaller commercial poultry farms, composting systems on equine farms, and different equipment options available to small farmers. April 20, 2018 at 1:30 pm. Read more or register for the webinar..Presenters: Tommy Bass, Montana State University; Casey Ritz, University of Georgia; Carissa Wickens, University of Florida; Jeff Porter, USDA-NRCS.

To participate: 

  • Between now and the webinar, go to http://www.extension.org/58813 and register for the webinar. After completing the registration, you will be directed to a page with the webinar URL and option to save to your calendar.
  • If you are unable to participate in a live webinar, you can access the archived version (available within a few days after the presentation is completed) at: http://www.extension.org/54317  
  • First-time webinar viewers can visit the following page to test access to the webinar system. http://www.extension.org/8924
  • A schedule of future webinar presentations is available at: http://www.extension.org/15370  If you’d like to learn more about events hosted by the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center, you can subscribe or unsubscribe to the lpenews listserv at any time at http://water.unl.edu/lpe-subscribe

Waste to Worth 4. The 2019 Waste to Worth conference will be held in April 2019 in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. If you want to be part of the planning team, fill out this form.

Water Quality. The North Central Water Network held a webinar on Manure, Water, and Soil Health. A description is available at the webinar archive. View the recording...

Nutrient Management. The Manure Scoop blog by Dan Anderson at Iowa State University covers variable rate manure application in a series of posts. Introduction and challenges | Example and economics

Avian Influenza. The highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak required proper carcass management to avoid further spread of the disease. The following videos provide an overview of mass poultry mortality composting and can be used by the poultry industry, state and federal agencies, and emergency response contractors. Go to the video playlist...

Pastured Livestock. USDA NRCS held a webinar on "Grazing and Nutrient Management". The presentation looked at: What is the nutrient uptake by the animals? How many nutrients are returned to the pastures/rangelands through manure? What is the distribution of the nutrients? Are supplemental nutrients required to maintain pasture plant health? Read more or view the recording...

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Iowa adds new animal unit number for fish confinements

Iowa DNR Animal Feeding Operation Updates-April 13: Effective April 4, Iowa Governor Reynolds signed House File 2281 creating a new animal unit for small fish raised in a confinement feeding operation. "This is an example of regulations that protect the environment while encouraging entrepreneurship," said Chuck Gipp, DNR director. "Adding a separate category for small fish will allow new start-ups while existing regulations protect our waters."

The bill established the animal unit number for fish weighing less than 25 grams at 0.00006. The animal unit for fish weighing more than 25 grams remains at 0.001. Animal units are a special equivalency factor used to calculate animal unit capacity (AUC). To determine AUC, multiply the number of animals by the animal unit factor. For example, 8.35 million fish weighing less than 25 grams would have an AUC of 501.

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In the news

MN Supreme Court denies review on hog farm case
Rochester Post-Bulletin, 3/21/18
Six feedlots added in Pipestone County, two expanded in 2017
Pipestone County Star, 3/29/18 
Beef cattle feedlot settles with state (of Washington) in air pollution case
Associated Press, 4/7/18
Dairy's pipeline plan draws a crowd
AgWeek, 4/5/18
Carrot vs. stick: How should Minnesota get to cleaner water?
MPR, 4/16/18

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April 20-22: Minnesota Buffalo Association education conference, Watertown, SD.
July 10: Summer Beef Tour, Cottonwood County fairgrounds, Windom.

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Send the news

The MPCA Feedlot Update welcomes news from partners about, projects, people, and upcoming events. Email submissions to forrest.peterson@state.mn.us. Past issues of Feedlot Update are available on the feedlot program publications webpage.